Contact Lenses - History and Technological Innovations

Contact lens technology has come a long way since Leonardo da Vinci first imagined the concept, way back in 1508. Having introduced the first mass-marketed disposable contact lens in 1987, ACUVUE® is proud to have been at the forefront of contact lens research and development.

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1508

Leonardo da Vinci illustrates the concept of contact lenses.

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1823

British astronomer Sir John Herschel conceptualises practical lens design.

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Late 1880s

The first glass contact lenses, designed to cover the whole eye, were developed. They were crude and uncomfortable to wear.

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1930s

More eye-friendly Plexiglas (1930) then Rigid Plastic (1936) contact lenses superseded glass. These too were uncomfortable and blocked the flow of oxygen to the eyes.

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Late 1960s

The first major breakthrough in contact lens technology occurred with the invention of hydrogel for soft lenses

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1987

ACUVUE® introduces the first mass-marketed disposable contact lenses.

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1993

ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses become the No. 1 prescribed contact lenses in the world.

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1995

ACUVUE® introduces the world’s first daily disposable contact lenses.

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1997

UV (ultraviolet) blocking added to all ACUVUE® disposable contact lenses as standard*

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1998

ACUVUE® introduces its first BIFOCAL lens for presbyopia (an age-related condition that makes it harder to focus on objects up close).

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2004

In 2004 Johnson and Johnson introduced The Vision Care Institutes and we continue to educate Eye Care Professionals at our Johnson & Johnson Institutes. Today, the Johnson & Johnson Institute has 24 centers on five continents. And through worldwide locations and online courses, the Institute hosts more than 125,000 health care professionals (HCPs) globally each year with educational options available that suit every learning preference and schedule across multiple specialties and hundreds of procedures.

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2005

Launch of ACUVUE® OASYS Brand Contact Lenses with HYDRACLEAR® PLUS Technology. Later that year, ACUVUE® introduce Accelerated Stabilisation (EYELID STABILISED) Design to make lenses especially tailored for people with astigmatism.

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2006

Launch of 1‐DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand Contact Lenses with LACREON® technology to permanently embed water-holding ingredients into the lenses, ideal for sensitive eyes

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2008

Launch of the world’s first silicone hydrogel daily disposable lens with 1‐DAY ACUVUE® TruEye® Brand Contact Lenses with HYDRACLEAR® Technology.

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2014

1-DAY ACUVUE® DEFINE® Brand Contact lenses with their BEAUTY WRAPPED IN COMFORT™ are launched in Europe after a decade of success in South East Asia

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2015

Launch of 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST MULTIFOCAL, an innovative lens design for presbyopia.

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^WARNING: UV-absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed. NOTE: Long-term exposure to UV radiation is one of the risk factors associated with cataracts. Exposure is based on a number of factors such as environmental conditions (altitude, geography, cloud cover) and personal factors (extent and nature of outdoor activities). UV-blocking contact lenses help provide protection against harmful UV radiation. However, clinical studies have not been done to demonstrate that wearing UV-blocking contact lenses reduces the risk of developing cataracts or other eye disorders. Consult your eye care practitioner for more information.​